Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams 8 August 2017


Bank Exam Current Affairs

Current Affairs for BANK, IBPS Exams 8 August 2017

::National::

China again reinforced that Indian troops must leave the Doklam plateau

  • Welcomed a visiting Indian media delegation, the Chinese Defence Ministry reinforced its position that Indian troops must leave the Doklam plateau to resolve the crisis in the Sikkim section of the India-China border.
  • Defence Ministry spokesman RenGuoqiang signalled that China was puzzled by the movement of Indian troops, in view of the interaction between the two militaries on two occasions prior to the crisis.
  • He stressed that China had first notified India of its intention to build a road on March 18, a day after an Indian military delegation on a goodwill mission visited the 3rd Garrison of the People’s Liberation Army on the outskirts of Beijing.
  • He said the Indian side was again informed about the Chinese decision, a fortnight prior to the arrival of PLA troops with bulldozers at the site of the road construction. On both occasions, there was no response from the Indian side.
  • Asked to explain the rationale of China’s decision to notify India about its intent to build the road, Sr. Colonel Ren said this was done as a gesture of goodwill.
  • India has objected to Chinese road construction as it altered the status quo in the disputed tri-junction area of China, India and Bhutan, contrary to the 2012 agreement of the Special Representatives of the two countries.
  • The Chinese official asserted that Bhutan’s objection to the construction of the road were due to India’s political pressure.
  • The Chinese military officials reiterated that the Doklam crisis could not be compared with previous standoffs in Demchok and Chumar, which were caused on account of the divergent positions on the alignment of the Line of Actual Control.

Supreme Court says centre and state should come together for drought-affected areas

  • “We can only feel sorry for the people of Haryana,” the Supreme Court noted in a judgment on how the State Food Commission, set up under the National Food Security Act in Haryana, sits jobless and without proper infrastructure.
  • The judgment by a Bench of Justices Madan B. Lokur and N.V. Ramana listed nine other States who came under its scanner for their damp response to the food security law meant to quell the hunger pangs of millions of poor families, women and children living below the poverty line.
  • The Supreme Court said the Centre cannot look the other way, passing the buck on to the States for not implementing the law. Referring to Article 256 of the Constitution, the judgment said the “Government of India cannot plead helplessness in requiring State Governments to implement parliamentary laws”.
  • In his separate view, Justice Ramana focused on the spirit of co-operative federalism unique to the Indian democracy. Stating that here, the “Union and the States are co-equals”.
  • He wrote that States cannot ignore the “plight of the common man”. It was time to start a “meaningful dialogue” between the Centre and the State governments to save people, especially living in the drought-affected areas from abject poverty.
  • But in the course of the judgment, Justice Lokur expressed skepticism about the motivation of the Centre and the States to implement the much-needed law, which has now been lying in the back burner for years.
  • “Mere schemes without any implementation are of no use. Similarly, one may ask what use is a law passed by Parliament if State Governments and Union Territories do not implement it at all, let alone implement it in letter and spirit,” Justice Lokur wrote.
  • In a series of directions, the court ordered the Secretary in the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution to meet with State Chief Secretaries by August 31 and brainstorm ways and means to implement the food security law.
  • The court directed the government to frame rules and designate independent officials for a grievance redressal mechanism under the Act within a year.
  • It directed the States to set up State Food Commissions and vigilance committees in every state by the end of the year and set up a social audit machinery.
  • The National Food Security Bill was passed by both Houses of Parliament and received the assent of the President on September 10, 2013.
  • Almost four years have gone by but the authorities and bodies mandated to be set up under the National Food Security Act, 2013 have not yet been made functional in some States.
  • The court expresses it its disappointment when the Haryana government blatantly said there is “hardly any work for the State Food Commission”.

Appeals on Babri Masjid-Ramjanmbhoomi title to be heard on August 11

  • A Supreme Court Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra is scheduled to hear on August 11 a batch of appeals in the volatile Babri Masjid-Ramjanmabhoomi title dispute. The Special Bench will include Justices Ashok Bhushan and S. Abdul Nazeer.
  • The court recently indicated that it would start hearing the long-pending appeals shortly.
  • Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar, had on an oral mentioning by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, suggested an out-of-court rapprochement among rival parties in the 68-year-old dispute. The Chief Justice had advocated peace negotiations.
  • The dispute, which has seen much tension and violence over the past decades, debuted in courts since the 1950s.
  • On September 2010, a three-judge Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court held that Hindus have the right to the makeshift temple under the central dome of the Babri Masjid.
  • The High Court ruled in favour of a three-part division of the disputed 2.77 acre area among Sunni Waqf Board, NirmohiAkhara and the Ram Lalla at the disputed site. The Bench had relied on Hindu faith, belief and folklore.
  • The Sunni Waqf Board and other parties filed their appeals in the Supreme Court against the 2010 judgment. The appeals have been pending in the Supreme Court for over six years.
  • The litigation has records dating back to the 16th Century and written in several languages, including Arabic and Persian. The Allahabad High Court judgment which is under challenge is itself about 8,000 pages.

Union Home ministry to examine data connectivity services from LWE

  • The Union Home Ministry is examining the proposed specifications for providing data connectivity services through mobile towers installed in the LWE-affected areas across 10 States, in view of the possible security implications.
  • In coordination with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the Department of Telecommunications has already got towers installed in over 2,000 sites during Phase-I of the mobile connectivity scheme in Naxal-affected districts.
  • Issues related to installation of towers and improved road and air connectivity were taken up during a review meeting chaired by Home Minister Rajnath Singh on May 8. It was attended by the Chief Ministers of six States, apart from Intelligence and security officials.
  • The government, at the meeting, said Phase-II of installation of mobile towers would soon be initiated. States such as Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have also sought an upgrade of mobile communications.

::International::

British Indian’s have good economic status among ethnic minority group’s

  • Britain’s Indian community by and large has avoided the “worryingly large” income gap experienced by other ethnic minority groups in the country that continues to persist despite recent gains, a report published on Monday suggests.
  • The report by the Resolution Foundation, which examined typical household incomes by ethnicity, found “significant differences”, with white communities (either British or from beyond) earning over 30% more than other ethnic groups.
  • However, within Britain’s black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, Indians are the best paid, followed by Britain’s Chinese community, according to data collected over the last three years.
  • While the median household income of white Britons remained between £27,000-£25,600, the median for the Indian community stood at around £25,300.
  • While the gap had begun to narrow within the Bangladeshi and Pakistani communities, the report notes that it remains “worryingly large”. The report warns that with some £14 billion of imminent welfare cuts, the situation is likely to worsen for some communities.
  • The report also notes sharp differences between patterns of home ownership and employment rates.
  • Among the influencing factors were employment rates, including for women. While the rate of employment of Indian-origin women is lower (around 60%) than the rate among the wider white population, it remains well above levels of other minority groups.
  • Employment rates for men of Indian origin also remain high at around 80%. Of all the ethnic groups, , including white communities, Britain’s Indian community is also least likely to live in social housing.
  • The latest figures will add to concerns in the country around the fairness of pay, and income inequality. The government estimates that people in ethnic minority households are almost twice as likely to live in poverty as white people.

::Business and Economy::

Possibly due to demonetisation number of filed ITR’s increased by 25%

  • The number of income tax returns filed this financial year up to August 5 increased by almost 25% and the advance tax collections during that period has risen 41.8% over the year-earlier period, according to the Centre.
  • “As a result of demonetisation and ‘Operation Clean Money,’ there is a substantial increase in the number of Income Tax Returns (ITRs) filed,” the Centre said in a statement.
  • “The number of returns filed as on August 5 stands at 2,82,92,955 as against 2,26,97,843 filed during the corresponding period of ficsal year 2016-2017, registering an increase of 24.7% compared to growth rate of 9.9% in the previous year.”
  • “Advance tax collections of personal income tax (i.e. other than corporate tax) as on August 5, 2017 showed a growth of about 41.79% over the corresponding period in FY 2016-2017,” the statement said.
  • “Personal income tax under self assessment tax (SAT) grew at 34.25% over the corresponding period in FY 2016-2017.”

Oil and gas exploration and production business is likely to get a boost

  • The oil and gas exploration and production business is likely to get a boost following a proposal to exempt the profit petroleum paid to the Centre from the Goods and Services Tax (GST).
  • The production sharing contracts (PSCs) signed for exploration and development of oil fields require operators to pay a pre-determined share of the surplus petroleum output to the Centre as a form of royalty.
  • Currently, such profit petroleum is subject to GST as it has been construed as a payment made by firms for a service.
  • Though profit petroleum is legally taxable, the levy of GST doesn’t appear to be in sync with the PSCs signed under the New Exploration Licensing Policy or NELP.
  • However, operators are not allowed to recover the profit petroleum paid to the government as a cost under the PSC.
  • Moreover, if GST is to be levied on the government’s share of profit petroleum, disputes could arise on whether the contractor can pay the GST out of his own profit petroleum.
  • Industry bodies such as CII had made several representations on the issue to the Centre, contending that paying a share in profit petroleum to the government is a profit-sharing arrangement rather than a payment for a service.
  • While officials disputed this interpretation and said that the relationship between the government and contractors is of an assignor and assignee, they concede that the GST levy has the potential to lead to litigations and disputes.
  • In the overall scheme of NELP, treating government’s share in profit petroleum as a cost and levying GST appears odd.
  • At the same time, the government is likely to clarify that ‘cost petroleum’ — which is the value of petroleum that a contractor can take in order to recover all contract costs for exploration and royalty incurred during a year — could be taxable.
  • Terming the proposed change in GST applicability on profit petroleum share as a strong signal for exploration and production players that it is serious about scaling up exploration business.

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